And the winner of some 50,000 high paying jobs and $5B in investment is…one of Amazon’s top 20 of 238 cities vying to become Amazon’s #2 headquarter operation.
Dial into these cities, real estate agents. Even if not the final “one,” all are targets for your best efforts.
“At its best,” said Ed Glaeser, professor of economics at Harvard, “this competition has spurred cities to think about how to improve their quality of life more generally. At its worst, the competition has become a distraction and contest for throwing cash at the (Amazon) giant.”
Here are the metro areas (in no particular order) that have made the first cut:
BOSTON – ripe with talent, Logan Airport (major bonus), offering to invest in transportation and development, available sites that can accommodate 500,000 – 1M square feet of office space.
DENVER – mecca for start-ups with proximity to Boulder’s entrepreneurial scene, relatively affordable housing, spectacular outdoor recreational opportunities.
DALLAS – favorable tax structure, relatively low cost of living, strong tech labor force, easy access to Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport,
on-site access to mass transit if located in Los Colinas/Irving, $5B in on-going construction spending.
NASHVILLE – young, diverse, proposal included $5.2B mass transit spending, rich cultural life.
NEW YORK CITY –it is the center of the business universe, having Amazon would cement its place as the center of the tech industry.
COLUMBUS – collaborative bid by Columbus 202, Jobs Ohio and City, bid stresses its educational institutions with its tech nodes, local corporate leadership, track record of coming out on top of 7 cities in Smart City Challenge in 2016
NEWARK – Former Governor Chris Christy’s swansong of coming up with $7B in tax incentives, fiber-optic network capacity, space for downtown development, cheaper real estate than NYC.
LOS ANGELES – large, diverse population, strong logistics and infrastructure sector, strong and large talent pool and coming out on top would cement its place as the center of the tech industry.
MIAMI – gateway to Latin America, “Magic City Innovation District” to recruit tech companies, no state income taxes, close to Bezos’s Blue Origin Space Project at Cape Canaveral…but…most exposed to climate change.
AUSTIN – existing tech hub and stable business-friendly environment, leading provider of business incentives at $19.1M annually, relatively low cost of living, hip, hot, has already landed Apple and Samsung.
ATLANTA – already added 12,400 jobs and $2.6B without Amazon, its financial/tech sector had most growth in country in 2016 with 9,800 new jobs, Midtown is hot & top corporate office center, plans on the book to develop The Gulch site with 9M square feet of office space, 1,000 apartments, 1,500 hotel rooms and 1M square feet retail space.
CHICAGO – $2B in tax breaks, reputation for high paying jobs, number of contiguous land sites for large developments.
INDIANAPOLIS – shovel ready 103-acre site near downtown for development
MONTGOMERY COUNTY – highly educated work force, transportation network already in place, Internet connectivity, already has Marriot International, Lockheed Martin and Host Hotels.
NORTH VIRGINIA – multiple jurisdictions want it, 2 major airports, already has American Web Services.
PHILADELPHIA – tax incentives, young talent, quality public transit, great location between NYC and DC, multiple sites to accommodate bit specifications, offered satellite office sites and employee housing plus locations for Amazon’s business partners.
PITTSBURG – 100-acre site available close to urban core, 20 sites in area responded to RFP, Bezos has $23M home here.
RALEIGH – The Triangle of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill is educational cluster and fosters local tech ecosystem of international renown, beneficiaries of brain drains from other parts of country.
WASHINGTON DC – “top talent and world class amenities” says Mayor Muriel Bowser, international diversity, stable economy, transit infrastructure in place, willingness to collaborate with neighboring jurisdictions, Bezos owns Washington Post here.
TORONTO – only Canadian city in running, Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s premier, says Toronto is “obvious choice” because of Canada’s universal health care system and openness to immigrants. “We are already welcoming the best and brightest from around the world…no matter where you come from you are welcome and you feel at home in Ontario.”